Inquest into the Death of Paul James BRADY

Warning: The contents of this finding may be distressing to some readers as they contain information about events leading to a suicide. Reader discretion is recommended.

Delivered on: 28 February 2023

Delivered at: Perth

Finding of: State Coroner Fogliani

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

That the Mental Health Co-Response continues to be funded, and that consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support expansion of the programme in a way that meets demand.

Recommendation 2

That consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support the expansion of the Mental Health Co-Response in metropolitan areas of Perth.

Recommendation 3

That work continues on the planning of the Mental Health Co-Response in regional areas of the State, and consideration be given to providing the Western Australia Police Force and the Western Australia Mental Health Commission with additional, external funding in order to support the expansion of the Mental Health Co-Response into regional areas.

Orders/Rules: N/A

Suppression Order: N/A

Summary: Paul James Brady (Mr Brady) was 35 years old when he died on 15 May 2020 from injuries received after he jumped from the ledge of his third floor apartment balcony in the presence of two police officers who had attended after a member of the public saw Mr Brady standing on the ledge and became concerned for his welfare.

The attending police officers attempted to speak with Mr Brady, asking him to sit down.  They called out to him, but he did not respond to them.  Events unfolded very quickly, and Mr Brady jumped from the building, landing heavily on the ground below.  He sustained severe injuries and they were non-survivable. 

The attending police officers did not check on Mr Brady once he came to rest on the ground, believing him to be deceased.  They began to direct traffic away from the scene.  By way of explanation, the attending police officers later reported that they froze, or were in shock.  Other police officers arrived, and promptly checked on Mr Brady, commencing CPR.  Paramedics then arrived and they took over the resuscitation efforts.  Tragically Mr Brady could not be revived.

The State Coroner determined that police did not contribute to Mr Brady’s death, but that the attending police officers ought to have checked on him and commenced CPR.  It could not have been known, at that stage, that his injuries were non-survivable.  The State Coroner found that the cause of Mr Brady’s death was multiple injures and that the manner of his death was by way of suicide, taking into account his medical history and his behaviour and actions in the period leading to his death.

The State Coroner noted the improvements in the training for police in communicating with vulnerable persons and made recommendations directed towards the ongoing support of the Mental Health Co-Response.  The State Coroner emphasised the importance of understanding and adhering to the police’s duty to preserve and/or maintain life.


Last updated: 10-Mar-2023

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